I wanted to bring another book to your attention. Bob
Monie mentioned a book he thought we should discuss the other day, "Weedless Gardening" by Lee Reich....which by the way, Bob, I did order from Amazon.com. I then wrote a post to a couple of my gardening groups which I have added below which brought the response mentioning this book just below. I am going to order it as soon as the budget allows. Has anyone read this book? I also posted a personal book review below that caught my eye as I explain. Gloria
I read a wonderful book "Insects
& Gardens" by Eric Grissell about a month ago & he essentially says
the same thing. It's a wonderful book, if you get a chance see if
your library has a copy.
This is a personal book review that I edited slightly for this forum on the above book. That caught my eye as it is how I garden.....have gardenend since before reading Fukuoka.
After reading this book, I am looking at my garden with new eyes. The author has provided some very good reasons for gardening the way I tend to do anyway - pack it with as many different plants as possible, leave it a little messy, and don't use pesticides. It's very nice to have this approach validated and especially to know why it seems to work! Now I just have to get an insect identification book ...
This is the post I sent to two of my other gardening lists which spawned the thread above.
> I have been thinking about this porblem so many speak of on my
various gardening lists.....pillbugs, sowbugs, slugs,
etc.....whichever one wishes to call them....and I do realize more
than one insect is involved here. The topic is always what to do
about them. They have a purpose in the scheme of things...Nature's
scheme. That purpose is to eat decaying plant material.
> The problem my brain has been mulling over is this.......What if the
problem is actually us? No...really. Stop and think about it for a
minute. When we garden we rake up all the leaves, etc, and put them
into compost piles and such. Then we proudly take that compost and
spread it on our garden beds, and then cover them with a mulch.
Usually that mulch is a hardwood mulch of some kind. Sometimes it
isn't. Now what is a pillbug, or a slug to do now? Their job is
being done in that compost pile for one thing. So..........what if we
do things a bit differently?
> What if we instead take the spent plants, leaves, weeds, etc, and
lay them on top of the soil in our garden beds not just when the
season is over, but also when we are growing new plants? Would the
pillbugs, the slugs, etc, now do the job they were created to do
instead of munching on our plants? After all it is the decaying
material they were designed to eat......not the stuff that is fresh
and still growing. Would we then not take the problem away from
ourselves far more easily than trying instead to irradicate the poor
things with Sluggo, and other homemade remedies?
> I have been thinking quite a bit lately about things I might be
doing that interfere with the natural path of things in
gardening......things I might be doing to actually be sealing the doom
of not just my garden beds, but gardening/farming in general. I
suppose the idea is like........If you feed a dog, it won't bite you.
I would imagine this would have to be an ongoing thing.......putting
down the things we would ordinarily put in the compost pile, etc, to
feed the bugs. Yet in this way.....doing it in a more natural
order....we would be doing our soil a huge favor at the same time
because we would be giving it a source of nutrients, the thatch to
hold water a bit longer, a layer of what is essentiallly a mulch
itself to shade the soil and keep the temperature a bit lower to aid
the plants as they try to make it through a hot summer.
> Doing the gardens this way we would be working with the pillbugs,
and slugs, etc, instead of against them. They would be far less
aggressive, too. Would that not be a more responsible way to garden?
I suspect we need to rethink our approaches to gardening in many
ways. We seem to keep trying to do it right......yet all the while we
are working against it because we fight off the very things that were
created to assist us and Nature to grow our food, and our flowers. I
have a hunch there are other critters, both animal and insect we can
work with instead of against like this. We just need to think about
it more. It might make our lives far more pleasant, too. I think we
tend to think we must make our gardens too neat.......always
straightening them up, cleaning them out is not how Nature does it, is
> Gloria in Texas, US zone 8a
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